Spy On Your Competitors’ Hotel and Resort Facebook Ads

Spy On Your Competitors’ Hotel and Resort Facebook Ads

What would you pay to see your competitors ads on Facebook?

Good news…It’s absolutely free!

In every Marketer’s mind, they are always wondering what their competitors are doing. How they could be getting the edge over them. How they may be using strategies they have never even began to think of. Usually, it takes a ton of manual research and even investing in tools that can cost thousands of dollars.

Now, with Facebook’s recent updates to transparency, everyone’s ads are now live and visible for everyone to see online. This also goes for your ads as well.

This is the Wild West of advertising now – Anyone can take a peek.

Here is a little history on how this all unfolded

Facebook Releases Advertising Transparency Tools

On March 28th, 2019, Facebook announced that they would be releasing a new page of their website that anyone who was a Facebook user could use. This allowed people to learn more about online advertising as it relates to politics and other social issues in their city, state, or country.

Within the Ad Library, you are able to see many different facts about these particular campaigns. From who saw the ad (gender and state) as well as how many impressions it received and how much money was spent.

Page Transparency Tab Added To All Facebook Pages

At the same time as the Ad Library was launched, Facebook Page owners started noticing a new tab on their pages – You may have as well. This was called the “Page Transparency” tab.

This tab features a list of information to better understand who owns, in this case a hotel or resort, page. Some of this information includes:

  • Page History
  • How many times the Page name was changed
  • How many times the Page has merged with another
  • How many page admins their are and what country they are from

This section is also where you can get the low down if a Facebook Page is currently advertising on Facebook. You can easily see it by the mark at the bottom of the Page Transparency window – “This Page is currently running ads”

But let’s start from the beginning…

How To Spy On Your Competitors’ Facebook Hotel and Resort Ads

For this example, we will be using a hotel brand, Marriott, who very frequently has dozens and sometimes hundreds of ad creatives live at one time. This won’t be typical for every hotel, brand, or resort. Marriott, obviously, has a much larger budget than a property ever would. At most, you will generally see 1 to a dozen different ads depending on the strategy they a hotel is using.

  1. To get started make sure you log into Facebook.
  2. Navigate to Facebook’s search bar and type in your competitor’s hotel or resort
  3. Click into their Facebook Page
  4. Now, depending on the device you are using the Page Transparency section is located in slightly different places
    1. Desktop: On the right-hand side scroll down and it should be under the “About” section. Click see more
    2. Mobile: This is much easier to see on here. It should be one of the first thing sections you see under your competitor’s resort page
      Click See More
  5. This will bring up the Page Transparency information we mentioned above.
    If your competitor is running ads you will be able to see it like this below
  6. Click “Go to Ad Library”

The first thing you will see in the header section is all the information you most likely saw on the Page Transparency window 

You’ll notice two sections relating to ad spend:

  • Total spent by Page on ads about social issues, elections or politicians – The estimated total amount of money this Page has spent on ads about social issues, elections or politics.
  • Recently spent by Page on ads about social issues, elections or politics – The estimated amount of money this Page spent during the prior week on ads about social issues, elections or politics.

Unfortunately, I doubt we will ever get to see dollars spent on ad campaigns beyond social issues or politics.

Below the header you will find ever ad that is currently running for your competitors resort.

Ads are originally separated by the month the ad went live. This can show you quickly what ads are most likely effective – The older they are the more likely they are working for the brand.

Unlock Every Ad

What most people don’t realize about this view is that Facebook sometimes isn’t every ad that is live on Facebook. Some are masked between different countries and sometimes not any retargeting ads are listed.

To change that, we need to change the URL we are currently visiting.

You will notice a string in the URL that starts with “country=US”
Change the “US” to “ALL” in caps and punch the enter button

Somehow, and we are not sure exactly why, this is what seems to unlock all Facebook ads for the page.

What are your thoughts on being able to see your competitors ads? What about your competitors seeing yours?

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